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Latest posts by obelixx

Front garden

Posted: 01/10/2013 at 08:25

A lot depends on how exposed your site is and how cold you get in winter.  I can'tgrow pittosporums or phormiums and escallonias barely keep their leaves through my winters.  In Cornwall they are reliably and healthily evergreen.  Given the long spells of cold, my hollies have taken 11 years to grow to just over 3' high so maybe a bit slow.

Front garden

Posted: 30/09/2013 at 18:03

You could go for conifers such as abies which usually have glaucous blueish foliage and a compact habit rather than loose.  There are several forms with an RHS Award of Garden Merit (AGM) which means they grow well and are easily available.

Berberis darwinii will give you small, glossy foliage and soft yellow flowers.  It too has an AGM as do several other forms of berberis.   Choisya ternata and choisya Sundance are evergreen with ornage scented white flowers when they are mature enough to flower.  the latter has golden foliage so is sunny looking in winter.  Both have AGMs.

Forms of cistus will give you papery white or pink flowers.   Eleagnus has green and gold variegate dfoliage for year round interest and euonmous wil give you gold or cream variegation.  You could also look up myrtus which has white flowers and shiny leaves.

If you have acid soil and enough moisture you coul dtry pieris forms which have coloured foliage in spring and then flowers.  Pyracanthas are good for wildlife having blossom in spring and berries in autumn plus thorns to deter people form climbing your wall.

Again, if your soil is acid and moisture retentive you could grow rhododendrons in a wid evariety of sizes, leaf shapes and flower colour.   Viburnums come in several evergreen forms and some which flower in winter.

If you want something you can clip and keep formal, have a look at taxus (yew) forms.

You can look up all of these on the RHS website - plant selector feature.   You could grow a mix to spread the flowering times and provide year round nectar for bees and other insects.


Yet another possible weed?

Posted: 30/09/2013 at 17:10

If you want rid,  you can either hoe the lot on a dry day so they are chopped off from their roots and die or just do another application of a glyphosate based weed killer.  You can expect seeds to germinate in the right conditions so may need to hoe again before it's all clear.

I will/I won't grow that again

Posted: 30/09/2013 at 12:49

Hi Dove.  Where did you get your Anna Russian seeds?  i can only find them on USA sites.

Wildlife Habitat

Posted: 30/09/2013 at 08:22

Mine is in full sun but shaded to the south in summer by tall perennials.  The side seen in the photo faces full west and is protected from wind by shrubs such as cornus and hydrangea to the west of it.   There are larger shrubs and trees to the north but no protection form biting easterlies in winter as that side is cow pasture.

I will/I won't grow that again

Posted: 30/09/2013 at 08:15

Hungarian black chillies have done really well and are tasty without anaestetising teh palette so will grow again.  However Habanero Tobago seasoning failed to germinate and produced just one plant that died early despite being sown and potted on in the same conditions.

Tumbler toms produced OK but were bland.  Russian Blacks were good.

No success with home sown beets but good results with plugs.   Ditto fennel.  Home sown broccoli and purple sprouting all good and the red cabbages and radicchio plugs have done well too.   Didn't get around to sowing courgettes or pumpkins cos of the new feet and haven't really missed them but I'll grow some next year in a newly cleared bed.

Wildlife Habitat

Posted: 29/09/2013 at 11:54


i've made mine high rise from 6 pallets.  The middle is stuffed with straw and then the fronts have hollow stems, bricks with holes or pine cones.  I used strips of wood t make a shallow bed on the top layer, lined it with weed fabric and filled with compost then planted with assorted sedums and mulched with a mix of gravel and shells.  The shells hold rain water so are good for insects to drink from.

The picture shows it when first made 2 years ago.  Since then the sedums have spread.    I've had to replace the chipped bark and pine cone layers because visitors and birds have strewn them about but it's become a haven for hedgehogs, amphibians from the pond just below it and insects.

The frames on the side are from a dismantled wooden obelisk and will support the campsis if it ever gets big enough.  Keeps being knocked back by hard winters.

Gardeners world

Posted: 28/09/2013 at 17:14

I enjoyed Friday's GW though I don't think Monty is very good at set pieces with RHS gardeners.  However, it was good to see open gardens with vistas and mixed plantings.

I didn't like the overall view of the Piet Oudolph garden  - too dull and monotone - but some of the close ups of the beds and the perennials used were luscious.  I prefer grasses with perennials rather than the other way round.   I love miscanthus  and also grow carex, molinia and hakonechloa which do very well here.  Stipas and penisetums and so on are too nesh for my garden..

Talkback: How to look after roses in autumn

Posted: 28/09/2013 at 13:50

Glad to be of help.  Do you know what variety it is?  Roses that are good for northern apsects are not that common.

Talkback: How to look after roses in autumn

Posted: 28/09/2013 at 11:46

There is indeed a difference.   Have look at this from the RHS - 

It also covers other kinds of roses and their pruning regime.

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10 threads returned